One of the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death and unlawful arrest of Freddie Gray is requesting to see the knife that was in the victim’s possession, suggesting that it may be an illegal switchblade.
A switchblade would make the arrest of Gray legal, The Baltimore Sun notes. Last Friday, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said the knife was not a switchblade and “is lawful under Maryland law,” rivaling Baltimore officer Edward Nero’s claim.
“Lt. Rice, Officer Miller, and Officer Nero failed to establish probable cause for Mr. Gray’s arrest, as no crime had been committed by Mr. Gray,” she said at the Friday news conference.
But an attorney for Nero isn’t buying it.
According to the Sun:
Marc L. Zayon, the attorney for officer Nero, asked a judge to make the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office and Baltimore police turn over the blue pocket knife Gray carried to determine whether it’s legal in the city of Baltimore. The knife was found clipped to the inside of Gray’s pants pockets after officers took him down.
Gray was charged with carrying an illegal knife, but Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said Friday in announcing the charges that the knife Gray carried was not an illegal switchblade under Maryland law. Baltimore police have said the knife violates city code.
In a motion filed in Baltimore District Court, Zayon said that an inspection of the knife will prove that the arrest was, in fact, legal.
According to state law, a person “may not display a switchblade or a knife or a penknife having a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in the handle of the knife,” the Sun writes. Additionally, Baltimore City code says knives with an automatic spring or other device for opening cannot be carried by persons.
It is unclear if the knife will be made available, but Mosby released a statement Tuesday backing up the charges.
“The evidence we have obtained through our independent investigation does substantiate the elements of the charges filed,” she said.
The president of the Baltimore police union, who has been extremely vocal in the dissent against the arrests of the six officers, called the charges ” an egregious rush to judgment.”
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun | VIDEO SOURCE: NDN